Shore keeps playoff hopes alive with win over Milton
JERSEY SHORE – After last week’s big loss to Mount Carmel Area, Jersey Shore needed a feel-good victory to boost their spirits.
A win also wouldn’t hurt the Bulldogs’ playoff hopes, either.
The orange and black started off the game with a three-play, 66-yard drive for a touchdown – which included a 64-yard reception from Taylor English to Ian Berry – and went on to defeat Milton 31-8 Friday night.
The win at Thompson Street Stadium was the Bulldogs’ third of the season, and helped Shore make a push for the postseason, as the Lycoming County team was in fifth entering last night’s contest.
East Juniata and Cowanesque Valley and Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech – the second-, third- and fourth-place teams behind first-place Selinsgrove – all lost Friday night. That should give the Bulldogs a huge boost in the standings.
For now, Steve Eck and his squad will relish this victory first before looking ahead.
“We knew that they were hurting for numbers, and we had a pretty good idea that they were going to have to go with a young kid at quarterback,” the Jersey Shore head coach said. “What I was concerned with was our guys coming out and just being flat because they weren’t expecting a tough game. They came out and played tough. We got lucky on that first pass right through the kid’s hands. I thought it was an interception. The kids responded well, so we’re pretty happy about that.”
The pass Eck was talking about was the 64-yarder that gave the Bulldogs their first points of the game. That was Berry’s only reception – but it really set the tone for the rest of the contest.
Shore got a nice performance all around from Eli Skinner, who connected on all four PATs and also had a 32-yard field goal and a 14-yard TD scamper on a reversal from Jake Potter.
Milton – which is struggling at 1-7 on the season – had a brand new quarterback in the form of Codye Miller. The senior threw for 81 yards and had one rushing touchdown for the Black Panthers – a 2-yard scamper in the fourth. He was sacked twice by Shore’s Clark Thompson.
“Codye Miller did a real nice job. He never played quarterback before, but he made some nice decisions and did a good job,” Milton head coach Mike Bergey said.
“I tried to make things as simple as possible for him, but still, that’s probably the most difficult position on offense to do, mentally as well as just focusing on what to do. He did a nice job. It wasn’t an easy task.
“Our focus was to keep our energy level up and play hard. We wanted to play hard no matter what the situation was and play 110 percent every snap. Our kids did that. We emphasized to not put their heads down and keep playing no matter what, and they did that.”
After Jersey Shore’s opening drive, the Bulldogs (3-5) scored on their next two possessions.
The first was a 10-play, 88-yard drive that started from the Shore 12. The Bulldogs got four first downs in the series, which was capped by a 2-yard scamper by Kasey Kemmerer.
The next drive started at Shore’s 44-yard line in the first quarter and ended with paydirt in the second, as Potter took the pigskin in from 4 yards out.
Potter ended the night with 77 yards on 11 carries, while Kemmerer had seven touches for 81 yards.
“We wanted to run the ball. They run that 3-5, which is the same as Selinsgrove,” Eck said. “We wanted to get out there and get after it and see what worked and what didn’t. When Selinsgrove comes next week, they’ve been running that a lot longer, so that gives us a good look and we can make some judgments.”
Shore signal-caller Taylor English had another solid outing for Shore, completing 6-of-13 for 131 yards and a touchdown. It was the fourth time this season he’s thrown for more than 100 yards.
On defense, Shore’s Logan Shay and Aaron Reidell each has seven tackles. Reidell got the call on defense in the second half as Eck got the chance to put some new faces on the gridiron.
“He did a nice job,” the Shore skipper said of Reidell. “He needs to make those tackles a little closer to the line of scrimmage, though. We knew (Milton) was struggling, and there was no sense in beating them up. We were down in the numbers last week, so it was good for those kids to get in and play.”
With playoffs looming in a few weeks, the focus now shifts to Selinsgrove, a powerhouse that Shore last faced off with in last year’s District IV Class AAA final.
“We’re just going to focus on that,” Eck said. “We can’t be thinking about two or three things. We have to focus on them. They have a heck of a football team. What we need to do is come out and have a good week of practice and come out and play football like we did (tonight).”
Heartland Conference, Division I
JERSEY SHORE 31, MILTON 8
M 0 0 0 8 – 8
J 14 10 7 0 – 31
JS – Ian Berry 64 pass from Taylor English (Eli Skinner kick), 11:10
JS – Kasey Kemmerer 2 run (Skinner kick), 2:07
JS – Jake Potter 4 run (Skinner kick), 10:04
JS – Skinner 32 field goal, 3:08
JS – Skinner 14 run (Skinner kick), 10:00
M – Codye Miller 2 run (Miller run), 10:16
First Downs 13 10
Rushes-Yards 38-259 32-111
Yards Passing 131 81
Total Offense 390 192
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 2-2
Rushing – M, Tyrone Short 8-24; Bobby Turnbaugh 14-86; Brandon Bower 3-13; Miller 5-(-17) TD; Bobby Trostle 2-5. JS, Potter 11-77 TD; Kemmerer 7-81 TD; Skinner 2-33 TD; Logan Shay 4-25; Ethan Robbins 4-22; English 1-5; Ian Berry 1-1; Ryan Shay 5-5; Logan Enders 2-15; Shawn Ulmer 1-(-5).
Passing – M, Miller 4-13-81-0-0. JS, English 6-11-131-1-0; Ulmer 0-2-0-0-0.
Receiving – M, Short 1-2; Luke Tillinghast 2-50; Ryan Lopes 1-29. JS, Skinner 3-40; Berry 1-64 TD; Logan Welshans 1-9; Logan Shay 1-18.
Interceptions – None.
Records – M 1-7. JS 3-5.
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